- Phytogeography of the vascular páramo flora of Podocarpus National Park, south Ecuador
- Volume | Issue number
- 16 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
A plant ecological transect study of the páramos of the Podocarpus massif, southern Ecuador, was carried out between July 2001 and August 2004. Including herbarium records 187 vascular plant genera were found, which were used for the present phytogeographical analysis. Three geographic flora components were identified: tropical (55 %), temperate (38 %) and cosmopolitan (7 %). The neotropical-montane element, which belongs to the tropical component, has the largest number of genera, with 62 (33 %). A wide number of species are endemic to the forest-paramo «ecotone» of Podocarpus National Park (70 spp.). The Andean-alpine element was the least represented, with only eight genera (4 %). The wide temperate element and Austral-Antarctic of the temperate component show almost an equal representation with respectively 25 (13 %) and 26 (14 %) genera; the cosmopolitan component with 14 genera (7 %). Also a limited number of taxa with savanna affinity were found: 15 (8 %) genera. 40 genera (21%) are shared with the Puna. This first attempt to group generic elements is a contribution to the phytogeographic understanding of southern Ecuador. Wet climate and regional isolation seem to be key factors in the present-day phytogeographical distribution of the 187 paramo genera.
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